Award-winning multi-intrumentalist and regional favorite Joe Craven has made music with many folks, including violinist Stéphane Grappelli, Jerry Garcia, mandolinist David Grisman, eclectic string player David Lindley and banjo fusionist Alison Brown.
On Friday, Dec. 1, Craven will perform at The Palms Playhouse in a CD release double bill with two of his bands. The father-daughter duo Joe & Hattie Craven will play first, celebrating their latest project, “Bright.” Then Craven will play with his group The Sometimers (Bruce MacMillan and Jonathan Stoyanoff), in a set celebrating the release of their album “Garcia Songbook.”
Joe Craven is a multi-instrumentalist, creativity educator, music camp director, former museum curator, actor and music festival emcee. Craven’s love of performing music has put him in many musical genres and alongside many musicians, including sustained work with Grateful Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia, mandolinist David Grisman and banjoist Alison Brown. Folk Alliance Far-West awarded him Performer of the Year in 2009.
Joe Craven & The Sometimers is a tight, crisp string-centric trio with a “no genre left behind” policy of music-making. In addition to Craven, the band is Bruce MacMillan and Jonathan Stoyanoff, and the three of them hold poetic license to operate heavy machinery. Their tool box includes upright and electric bass, various guitars, Dobro, lap steel, mandolin, octave mandolin, fiddle, more cowbell and more. With their debut release “Blender” and new album “Garcia Songbook,” this NorCal roots music trio celebrates a new kind of POP – “Pursuit of Possibility” – music.
Jonathan Stoyanoff is a first call bassist for a wide variety of genres. He attended the Berklee College of Music in Boston on a performance scholarship, and has kept musical company with Larry Coryell, B.B. King, Robert Cray, Huey Lewis, Dave Mason, Jackie Greene, Ozomatli, Spearhead, Maceo Parker and many more.
Bruce MacMillan is a wonderfully intuitive musician dedicated to the holy temple of American Roots Music. His passion for the history and variety of America’s musical heritage gives him versatility across many genres. From blues to bluegrass, country to jazz and rock & roll, MacMillan plays with energy and artistry. His impressive skills on vocals plus all manner of guitars, Dobro and lap steel bring a broad palette of sound to Joe Craven & The Sometimers.
Playing first are Joe and Hattie Craven. The father-daughter duo specializes in pop songs spanning the last 100 years rearranged for the folk tradition, with 16-year-old vocalist Hattie Craven supported by her multi-instrumentalist father. This team creates a celebration of music-making by finding common ground between generations with differing musical tastes and sensibilities, with father and daughter each bringing their influences to a multi-generational table.
In addition to being a seasoned actor in community theater, Hattie Craven’s singing and sparkling presence have won her a reputation as one of the finest young, if not youngest, performers on the stages of the Strawberry Music Festival, California Worldfest, Kate Wolf Memorial Festival, Live Oak Music Festival and the Millpond Music Festival.
The duo’s new CD is “Bright.”
Tickets are $20 and are available at Pacific Ace Hardware in Winters, Armadillo Music in Davis, Davids’ Broken Note in Woodland, online at The Palms’ website and at the door if not sold out.
For more information, visit joecraven.com and palmsplayhouse.com.